Rotor KAPIC Cranks Review

Can handle abuse of all-day epics but light enough for XC racing

Components
Rotor KAPIC Cranks Review

The Rotor KAPIC Cranks are both light and strong.

What is it

Rotor KAPIC cranks are the Spanish cycling component maker’s lightest and stiffest MTB cranks. The KAPIC name is homage to South Africa’s Cape Epic MTB stage race, one of the most prestigious marathon stage races in the world. The Rotor KAPIC cranks were designed to mirror the strength, agility, and speed needed in that event. The KAPIC’s modular system allows you to select each crank component based on your bike setup, thus it’s available in either boost or standard axle to fit different frame standards.

Pros
  • Lightweight crankset (554 grams)
  • Crash boots for customization and rock bashing protection
  • Across-the-board integration with the Rotor chainring and component family
  • Bottom bracket design makes clocking and swapping direct mount chainrings easy
  • Compatibility with many BBs, including BB30, Pressfit 30, BSA, BB89, BB92
Cons
  • Rotor proprietary chainrings required
  • BB86 conversion option has small bearings that can wear quickly
Mtbr’s Take

At a respectable 554 grams with protective bumpers, the Rotor KAPIC boasts cross country crank weight with trail duty durability. The KAPIC also shares direct mount rings with other Rotor offerings, including 2INpower, INpower, Hawk, and Raptor, meaning you can mix and match as you please.

Rotor KAPIC Cranks Review

Crankset weight is under 600 grams.

The Rotor KAPIC’s direct mount technology features a proprietary spline interface, connecting crank arm, axle and chainring, allowing simple assembly and disassembly of the crankset. The bottom bracket and direct mount interface are easy to set up and intuitive to clock. My personal favorite feature was switching between different chainring sizes. The process is super easy with only one bolt to remove. You do not have to remove the whole crankset.

The look of the KAPIC is classic cool, machined and sharp looking, similar to the other cranks in the Rotor family. Rotor crafts the KAPIC using a CNC process they call Trinity Drilling, where three internal holes from axle to pedal give the dual benefit low weight and stiffness.

Rotor KAPIC Cranks Review

Rotor Q Rings give your knees a break on extended climbs.

We also ran an oval Rotor Q Ring during this test. The updated OCP mount axle makes adjusting the clocking to find the optimal chainring position much faster. And with the new rings, you can adjust in one-degree increments.

Sizing the chain correctly with the Q Ring may pose a challenge for some, as the rear derailleur requires a bit more slack than with a conventional ring. But it’s a worthwhile trade off, as we found that the Q Rings help keep power (and thus traction) more equalized, as well as being easier on the knees, especially during long rides with extended climbing.

Rotor KAPIC Cranks Review

Clocking the Rotor Q Rings is easy.

On the trail, the Rotor KAPIC cranks performed as advertised, generating positive pedaling feel and confidence with every pedal stroke. Standing up and stomping the pedals, I felt none of my effort was wasted, and the Q Ring felt natural with no adjustment period needed to get used to the ovalized ring shape.

Bottom line, if you are looking for a crankset that can take the abuse of all-day epics but are light enough for serious XC racing, the Rotor KAPIC is worth a long look. And you can customize your crank arms with rubber bumpers in a choice of seven colors, including black, blue, green, yellow, red, pink, or orange.

Rotor KAPIC Cranks Review

You can accessorize your Rotor KAPIC Cranks with a variety of crank boot colors.

Rating: 5 out of 5
Price: $390 with direct mount ring and black bumpers
More Info: rotorbike.com


About the author: Jordan Villella

Jordan comes from the steep streets of Pittsburgh PA, where he learned to dodge cars and rip single track. He has been involved in nearly every aspect of the cycling industry: from turning wrenches, store design, clothing production and bike park creation. Jordan spends his free time racing cross country and cyclocross around North America, though he has been know to enduro every now and then. His love of cycling is only second to his love of his family and punk rock.


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  • ally says:

    Ouch!!!!!!!
    Cons
    Rotor proprietary chainrings required: $$$$$ replacement aluminum
    BB86 conversion option has small bearings that can wear quickly: tiny bears WILL wear very SOON – you can count on it!!!

  • Rotor says:

    Hey Ally, Rotor uses a 7-series aluminum which will last multiple times longer than any other brand of ring. The road rings have a lifetime warranty against wear! And- while the 4130 bottom bracket does require a smaller bearing, Rotor uses a double labyrinth seal, which means you get increased life out of your BB, since it’s harder for any contaminants to get in. Always trying to make for better experiences for riders! : )

  • MBR says:

    I stopped reading at…
    “Rotor proprietary chainrings required”
    Deal killer.

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